Rio Tinto has reported on the success of its first rough diamond tender of 2014, describing "strong result amidst unprecedented participation and a record number of successful bidders"
The Antwerp-based tender comprised 124 lots of rough diamonds from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Australia, the Diavik mine in Canada and its Zimbabwean mines at Murowa. The lots included white and fancy coloured rough diamonds, with 44 companies successful in their bids for the stones.
Patrick Coppens, general manager for the sale of Rio Tinto diamond products, said: “We were delighted with the bidding, the global nature of the successful bidders and the final result. It speaks to the strong demand for our diverse diamond portfolio."
Along the lots was an exceptional 70ct white diamond from the Diavik mine, said to be the most valuable diamond in total dollars. The mining company also reported "unprecedented bidding" for its fancy coloured rough diamonds from all three mines, with yellow, champagne, cognac, pink and purple diamonds sold to diamond specialists from around the world.
Israeli diamond manufacturer L & N Diamonds, a significant winner at the tender said: “It was great to see the tender in both Antwerp and the highly competitive Israeli diamond industry. Whilst we were delighted with our diamonds the ultimate beneficiary will be the consumer when these diamonds will be transformed into beautiful jewellery for the major consumer markets around the world.”
Rio Tinto's next tender, known as an invitation sale, will feature a variety of rough diamonds from the Diavik mine. It will be held in Antwerp in May.
In Febraury, Rio Tinto announced its full-year financial results for 2013, with diamond revenue increasing 14.9% to US$852 million (£510m) and group underlying earnings up 10% to $10.2 billion (£6.1m).